Posted by: crudbasher | December 15, 2011

The First Smart Teaching Toy Is Created

I wrote a pretty throught provoking (and comment provoking) post a few weeks ago called Computers Will Replace Teachers, and Here’s How…. My argument was that once every child has a smartphone in their pocket, they will use them to learn things at anytime and anyplace. I followed this post up with another one called Learning From Smart Toys. In this post I speculated that the form of computers would change. Students won’t sit in front of a screen an do learning. Instead they will play with their toys and computers will be embedded in them.

Well, turns out I was right sooner than I thought! This is a prototype for a smart phone controlled toy called Kombusto. It’s main purpose is to teach small children how to speak. This is a 21st century Speak and Spell!

Ok, so it’s not going to replace a teacher this year. But how about in 5 years time? This my friends, is what early disruptive technology looks like.


    • This first DragonBot (named Kombusto) was designed to help pre-schoolers learn language, but it’s a far cry from the Teddy Ruxbins of olde. Researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Northeastern collaborated to create a bot that not only was very good with language, but could work with visual cues which are a key component of how we communicate. To do that, instead of eyes made of marbles with fabric flaps for lids, the DragonBot employs an Android phone display for its eyes, which makes them much more animated and capable of expression.
    • The Android phone is the brain and central nervous system of the DragonBot. It controls the DragonBots movements. The phone’s camera provides the visual feedback from which the DragonBot learns, and because it’s internet-connected, when one DragonBot learns something, all of the other DragonBots learn it too.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


  1. […] The First Smart Teaching Toy Is Created […]

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